Day At The Track

Robyns Playboy on target for Derby

10:34 AM 10 Mar 2019 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Robyns Playboy,Harness racing
Robyns Playboy winning at Ascot Park
Photo Bruce Stewart

The Gore trained Robyns Playboy looked to be on target for the New Zealand Derby when he impressively beat a quality field of mainly three year olds in the Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park yesterday.

In the $20,000 feature, Zinny Mach took an early lead but Robyns Playboy’s driver Craig Ferguson pressed forward and hit the lead with 1600 metres to run.

“I thought he had a bit more gate speed and that he would hold the front but when Zinny Mach crossed him it was looking a bit dangerous particularly if Nathan didn’t hand up,” said trainer Ross Wilson.

Ferguson then dictated the speed of the race and with his ears pinned back Robyns Playboy went down to the finish line beating two latecomers Memphis Tennessee (second by one length) and Barrett a nose back in third.

Wilson says Robyns Playboy has a strong character and can be a bit of a handful at home as well as on raceday sometimes, but today he was fine.

“Sometimes he'll pull in the pre-lim and you can’t pull him up but he was more settled today.”

So his next start will be on the 5th April is the $200,000 Diamond Creek Farm New Zealand Derby.

“I’m not going to go for any lead up race. That’ll be his next start. He’s a very fit horse and he doesn’t take a lot of work. He hasn’t come to the end of his run yet. At home he does quite a bit of cantering on the frame and leading up to a race he only needs about three hopples.”

This will be the first time Wilson has had a runner in the Derby.

“Hopefully we’ll carry on to the Jewels. We’re aiming Bridesdale Robyn at the Jewels too. To have a horse at those events is a real thrill.”

Today’s win elevates Robyns Playboy to fourth in the Harness Jewels Three Year Old Emerald.


The winning Wilsons - Photo Bruce Stewart 

The win was Ferguson’s seventeenth of the season and equals his best season as an open driver and Robyns Playboy is clearly the best horse he’s driven.

“He’s got a very high cruising speed and Craig says he just waits on them.”

Meanwhile the biggest upset of the day came in the Haras des Trotteurs Southland Trotting Oaks when the Gavin Smith trained Swiss Miss beat more fancied runners in the $20,000 feature for three year old trotting fillies.

Just when it looked like Cheerful and Majestic Chevron were going to fight out the finish Nathan Williamson got Swiss Miss wound up and she stormed down the outside to beat Majestic Chevron by half a neck with a nose back to Cheerful.

The winning time of 2-47.9 equals the race and track record held by last year’s winner Luby Lou.

The New Zealand Trotting Oaks at Addington on the 22nd March looks to be shaping up to be a fairly even contest.


Bruce Stewart

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article in New Zealand: